What is Your Child's Secret Learning Language? Watch Them Play with LEGOS to Find the Answer!
Your child doesn't learn like other kids. He has to be on the go. She is always creating something new. He just wants to play... ALL THE TIME. She's not interested in textbooks, but she likes computers. He is in his own world. She loves field trips and hates sitting still. She can't stop talking. He daydreams. She doodles. She is perfect. He is perfect. They just have a different way of learning.
You may feel like your child is failing in school, when in reality he or she can't learn well in the traditional educational environment! Some kids have to learn through creating, exploring, asking questions and by investigating. They can't just sit still and learn quietly in a desk, in a classroom, or with a teacher! You may not know how to discover your child's optimal learning environment. You may not understand your child's learning style, but figuring out how your child learns is easier than you think! Just watch him or her PLAY! By watching your child plays with Legos you can discover a lot about your child's learning style and learning language!
I've found that most kids have a dominant learning language. There are five types of learners. You can understand what your child's learning language is by the way he or she plays with, cares for, and uses his or her Legos.
The FIVE Learning Languages (or Personalities) include: Followers, Friends, Explorers, Detectives and Creators
You can't really learn about your child's learning language by the way they approach school work, because most schoolwork is geared toward one type of learner, the Follower. I have found that Legos give kids freedom to be who they were meant to be, so you should be able to really see their true colors shine when they play with them, sort them, collect them and build with them.
Typical education methods usually push kids into a mold that wants to make them into a Follower. Many kids fight with these learning methods because they can't understand or enjoy such a style of learning. Once you understand how your child naturally relates to learning, you can give them the right tools, the right education, and the most efficient help.
I will explain each of the learning languages that I have observed in homeschooled children, because I have ten children of my own, and have worked with thousands of homeschoolers who are gifted or have learning challenges over the past 10 years. If your child is in school, or your homeschooling methods have been used to make the child into a Follower, you may need to remember what they were like when they were 3 to 5 years old. It's not a bad thing to be a Follower, if you are a Follower in your heart. Followers actually enjoy school, but if your child resists normal schoolwork, he might speak one of the other 4 learning languages.
I call it a learning language, because we often only understand our own language, or the one we grew up with. We are all parenting unique children with unique needs, and we need to seek to understand how each child learns best. Once we learn their language we can change the way we teach them and we will be able to see and appreciate their amazing abilities.
The Five Types of Learners:
Followers: They learn by following instructions, copying, watching the teacher or parent and doing what they are told. They are the kids that like recipes, kits, desks and workbooks. They tend to do well in a classroom setting. Teachers love them. They want to follow the instructions! They are eager to learn for the sake of pleasing the people they love and respect. They are not likely to ask "Why do I need to learn this?" They just want to pass the test. They focus on the process of learning more than the results or product. This child just wants a good grade, and approval. A good score is enough of a motivation to do well in school. They don't need to actually accomplish something more to be happy. They make good students and good employees.
Lego Play: When Followers play with Legos, they will take their time to follow the instructions, the love building kits, and may build the same kit over and over. They may need some help to understand how to put things together, and love watching other people build things. Sometimes they can’t imagine making anything else with the same parts that are used for one of the kits. They want the kits to look like it does in the picture, and once they learn to use the instructions they really enjoy the process of building, and showing off the finished work.
Learning Tips: Followers may become very discouraged when they fail to to get a good grade or pass a test. They want to please. They may not naturally "think outside the box". They like working in a quiet setting, but are often content in a classroom setting. They are interested in time, history, numbers, lists, scores, interesting literature, and charts. They may be very good at math and reading. They often go with the flow, and may seem to have no serious interests, you will need to help them to develop real skills that they will need in the world. They are clock watchers. They want to know what time it is. They want to know "WHEN" something happened or when something will happen in the future. They are planners.
"Read to me!" They want to do things together and they learn best when having fun. They like to have a lot of conversation. Learning is very social. They are very interested in people, and want to know "WHO" did this or that. They like to snack, chat and talk about what they are learning, and they tend to enjoy watching "educational shows" with friends and family.
Lego Play: When Friends play with Legos they are very social about it. They will give the little people names, families, pets, and homes. The little people are the focus of their play. They enjoy role playing, making up stories, and they love involving friends in their play. They love playing with someone who likes to do the building so they can get on with playing with the finished items. They may want mom or dad to build it all, so they can have everything ready for play. They love to set up towns, cities, stores and homes.
Learning Tips: Friends enjoy taking lessons and respond well to one on one instruction from someone they admire. They like social studies, but may not call it that, they are just very curious about people. They enjoy pets. The enjoy teaching others about what they are learning. They can't focus long on tasks if they are working alone. Learning looks a lot like play. They learn best by doing projects together and reading together. They want to share what they are learning and care about relationships.